I'm doing 10-20 investments per year. I invest early and make fast decisions.
As a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, backers can invest alongside my investments from the 500 Startups fund. As such, all investments are vetted and approved by the 500 Startups partners and enjoy the same rights that 500 gets in these deals.
My pitch to founders is a better network than most European investors in both Europe and the US. I have worked with tons of founders, investors, and other startups across the world. I can provide operational advice on everything from starting up to fundraising, company growth, and BD, built on insights from more than 120 companies which I was an investor in while at Seedcamp and DuMont.
My pitch to investors is my pitch to founders. Helpful and well connected investors are good investors.
What do I look for?
I like investing in great founding teams that know what they’re doing - founder/market fit is probably my most important criteria for investing. I love founders that are scrappy, absolute nerds about what they are doing, and great engineers and designers.
People I’ve previously worked with founders and companies that fall into these categories such as Geoff & Julia at EDITED, Kristo & Taavet at Transferwise, Jörg, Kai and Christoph at Lieferando, and Ankush & Arush at Try.com. Hundreds of other entrepreneurs I’ve spent time with at AngelList, Seedcamp, and DuMont showed me that personal passion and unique insights from previous experience are a killer combo that is hard to beat.
I like consumer products that have an excited early user group, I like SaaS products that are helping companies focus on their core competencies, and I like “prosumer” products that make people better at what they do, be it professionally or in their hobbies.
I don’t like drive-by founders, non-technical teams, or clones. All of these often result in boring companies that are easily replaced by a better financed competitor.
My focus will be on Berlin and London, since I’m there most often, but will also look at companies from other places in Europe, since great founders come from everywhere.
- I will syndicate every investment I do, as long as the allocation is large enough to set up a syndicate (at least a $100K allocation for the syndicate).
- 500 Startups will invest alongside with 50-100K in each deal I syndicate. These investments are made as part of my venture partner role for 500 Startups.
- There might be companies where out of legal, regulatory, or other issues the syndicate can not invest. In those cases, I will let the syndicate know about the deals I am doing and will try to arrange backers to invest directly. The most likely victim will be Germany based companies.
- To stay fair to other leads, I will not invest in deals that I can only access because of my position at AngelList.
- If another lead is investing in a deal I'm looking at, I will suggest my backers join the other lead's syndicate for the deal.
- I expect backers to invest in the majority of the deals I propose, but am not mad if you opt out.
- Don't back me if you are not comfortable with risk, little information, or failures.